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Bottas baffled by lack of pace compared to Hamilton at Spa

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Valtteri Bottas was left baffled by his lack of pace compared to Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton after finishing half a second off the pace in qualifying at Spa on Saturday.

Bottas has trailed Hamilton throughout the Belgian Grand Prix weekend so far, lagging to third place on the grid in qualifying as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel split the Mercedes racers.

The result came as a disappointment to Bottas, who was left seeking answers after failing to get even close to contending for pole at Spa.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pace to fight for the pole today. I’m not sure about the reasons, I’m slightly confused as to why I haven’t been able to get closer,” Bottas said.

“We will need to look for a few more answers in the data. The balance in the car felt good, but I was lacking grip, so I was particularly struggling in the high-speed corners of sector two. I felt a lot more comfortable in the car with high fuel, so that’s good for tomorrow.

“Driving the 2017 car around Spa is mega – it’s so quick, I’ve never experienced anything like it. We are both starting in the top three, so as a team we will still try to achieve our target and that is a one-two.”

The Belgian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

Barber IndyCar iRacing results

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Scott McLaughlin led the final six laps Saturday and finished 0.4241 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power to win the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott Speed finished third behind the Team Penske drivers. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Click here for the full boxscore from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing event at Barber Motorsports Park.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

Other notable finishers:

Colton Herta (seventh), Robert Wickens (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (12th), Graham Rahal (14th), Alexander Rossi (22nd).

Sage Karam led a race-high 24 laps but retired from the 45-lap event because of a crash and finished 27th of 29 drivers.